Wenger fears doping in football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is concerned about the threat of doping in football following the latest scandal involving Olympic athletes.

An independent commission, which was set up by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), recommended on Monday that the IAAF suspend Russia from all athletics competition following a report that detailed allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion. 

It was recommended that five athletes and five coaches be handed life bans, which has prompted Wenger to question whether football is immune from doping. 

Wenger said that he has always urged his players to steer clear of performance-enhancing drugs, but hinted that other teams did not always have the same mindset as him. 

"I try to be faithful to the values that I believe to be important in life and to pass them on to others," Wenger told L'Equipe. "In 30 years as a manager, I've never had my players injected to make them better. I never gave them any product that would help enhance their performance. I'm proud of that. I've played against many teams that weren't in that frame of mind.

"For me, the beauty of sport is that everyone wants to win, but there will only be one winner. We have reached an era in which we glorify the winner, without looking at the means or the method.

"And, 10 years later we realise the guy was a cheat. And during that time, the one that came second suffered. He didn't get recognition. And, with all that's been said about them, they can be very unhappy."

Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Arijan Ademi tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug following his side’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Champions League in September. 

Wenger also believes that doping tests should be done on a more regular basis as it will help crack down on the growing problem. 

The 66-year-old feels that it is difficult to believe that no player tested positive during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil if sufficient tests were carried out.

"Honestly, I don’t think we do enough [on doping tests],” he said. "It is very difficult for me to believe that you have 740 players at the World Cup and you come out with zero problems.

"Mathematically, that happens every time. But statistically, even for social drugs, it looks like we would do better to go deeper."

In order to catch those who are doping, Wenger believes that blood tests should be done instead of just relying on urine samples. 

"I hope England is immune from doping but I don’t know. When you have a doping control at Uefa [matches], they do not take blood, they take only urine," he said. "I have asked many times in Geneva [for that to be changed]. I hope we do not have a big problem with doping but we have to try to find out."

Comments